For the fifth consecutive year, BMW Manufacturing led the nation in automotive exports by value, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. BMW exported 234,689 X models from its Spartanburg, SC, plant during 2018.
The news comes as the disastrous results of President Trumps’ trade tampering were published. (Trump Record Deficit Watch – Another Proposed Increase) The U.S.’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world rose to its highest level in history in 2018 as the United States imported a record number of products, including from China.
This increased the deficit to $891.3 billion as Trump careened from policy disaster after disaster. Trump of course is threatening European automakers such as BMW with punitive tariffs. His $1.5-Trillian tax cuts for the wealthy were another one of his economic nuclear meltdowns. The Federal deficit will hit $1 trillion either no later than 2020. (BMW Group Threatens Trump on US Jobs, Auto Workers Oppose Trump Tariffs that Would Destroy Jobs, Trump Tantrum on Trade Kills Jobs, Distracts from Expanding Russian Collusion Investigations and Criminal Indictments)
BMW Spartanburg plant exported nearly 66% of its total production volume of 356,749 units. BMW Manufacturing’s production volume and exports declined slightly in 2018 due to model updates of the popular BMW X4 and BMW X5.
About 81% of these sports activity vehicles and coupes were exported through the Port of Charleston with an export value of more than $8.4 billion. This makes the non-unionized South Carolina factory the leading U.S. automotive exporter by value.
The remaining 19% of BMW X models were exported through five other southeastern ports: Savannah, GA; Brunswick, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; and Everglades, FL.
“With additional models such as the first-ever BMW X7, the BMW X3 M and X4 M, and the recently-announced BMW X3 and X5 plug-in hybrid vehicles, we anticipate an increase in production and exports for 2019,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.
In 2017, BMW announced an additional $600 million investment in the Spartanburg plant from 2018 through 2021 for manufacturing infrastructure for future generations of X models. Last month, the plant produced the 4.5 millionth BMW built in South Carolina. Later in the year, associates will mark 25 years of BMW production in the state.
BMW Group Plant Spartanburg produces more than 1,400 vehicles each day. In 2018, the Spartanburg plant produced 356,749 vehicles. The factory has a production capacity of 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.